Carr Fire in Redding Kills Firefighter

An air tanker drops retardant while battling the Ferguson fire on July 21 in Stanislaus National Forest near Yosemite Nation

It's now reached 44,450 acres and is only three percent contained.

The blaze has burned 28,763 acres and is only 6% contained, Cal Fire said.

Cal Fire announced the death early Friday of a private bulldozer operator, who was working on an active section of the fire.

The heart of Yosemite National Park remained empty the day after campers and hotel guests were evicted so firefighters could try to keep the state's largest fire from entering the park almost two weeks after it was sparked.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean said: 'The fire is moving so fast that law enforcement is doing evacuations as fast as we can.

Dry grass and brush in steep terrain was fueling the blaze, according to Cal Fire officials.

Two hundred California National Guardsmen have been brought in to help firefighters, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Shiroma of the National Guard.

A total of 15 structures have been destroyed with a further 500 threatened as the erratic flames move closer to communities.

"The fire is creating a huge wind vacuum and moving very rapidly toward west Redding".

The fire's growth forced Old Shasta residents to evacuate Thursday morning, Cal Fire said, and the California Highway Patrol warned people in west Redding to be ready to leave as well.

Portions of Highways 74 and 243 are closed.

Around 5:45 p.m. Thursday, new mandatory evacuations were ordered on the north side of Garner Valley and in the area of Hialeah Way.

Smoke from the Cranston Fire is shown on July 26 from east of Lake Hemet in Riverside County California
Handout. Reuters Smoke from the Cranston Fire is shown on July 26 from east of Lake Hemet in Riverside County California

"You go there and expect the fresh air and it was the total opposite of that", she said Thursday.

"We're just going to chill out and sleep and pray that we've got a place to go home to", area resident Joey Silva told the Sacramento Bee as he waited in the Shasta College parking lot.

That is above the 10-year average for the same period of 3.54 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Mercy Medical Center remains on alert for evacuation of the whole hospital, however, five babies have already been evacuated to nearby hospitals from the neonatal intensive care unit.

Additionally, the community of French Gulch is also under an evacuation order.

Medics and hospital staff have been directly impacted by the fire.

"Several staff members have evacuated their own homes then returned to care for patients", he said. Jerry Brown declared states of emergency for the three largest fires, which will authorize the state to rally resources to local governments.

The so-called Carr Fire was just one of several wildfires that have dispatched firefighters to all corners of the state amid an oppressive heat wave.

The fire burned over the operator and his equipment, making the man the second bulldozer operator killed in a California blaze in less than two weeks.

Two other major wildfires are also burning in California, prompting Gov.

Local and state fire officials were not available to confirm details of injuries.

Authorities believe McGlover started not only the Cranston Fire but other fires in the region as well. In a matter of hours it grew to 7.5 square miles, threatening an estimated 600 homes and forcing the evacuation of Idyllwild, authorities say.

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